recording of Jude the Obscure
, by Thomas Hardy.
Jude the Obscure
is the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, begun as a magazine serial and first published in book form in 1895. Its hero Jude Fawley is a lower-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The two other main characters are his earthy wife, Arabella, and his intellectual cousin, Sue. Themes include class, scholarship, religion, marriage, and the modernization of thought and society. (from Wikipedia)
For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page
for this recording.
Read by Librivox
For more free audiobooks, or to become a volunteer reader, please visit librivox.org
Download M4B Part 1 (218MB)
Download M4B Part 2 (189MB)
January 31, 2015
Thomas Hardy is one of the greatest novelists and poets
Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure are my favorites by Hardy. Far from the Madding Crowd is the one that comes closest to a happy ending. Along with "naturalism" or realism, and a grimness(well at least in Jude) sympathy also stand out in Hardy's novels
Jude is one who suffers from what we may be label today as morbid scrupulosity or ocd or whatever....maybe i am totally off. It seems to about, in part, one of those of us, who take one step forward and get knocked 10 steps backwards And what is reflexive in so many, perhaps the majority of homo sapiens, is to exploit those with that chronic, over active conscience, that morbid constant doubt which leaves some of us so exhausted and vulnerable. The majority of "persons", so it seems, go as so far as to play on that doubt and say we are bad, even though we are more ethical than that "other directed" string pulling majority of cookie cutter "well adjusted". One thing to say, imho, Jude is one of those "poor" fellows or females who are perpetually getting "screwed" over by others and circumstances that we become wretched or even to the point of becoming "wicked" and worse yet taking the unhappy road of life out of morbid self abnigation for "morality's" sake...sigh poor Jude and many of us...have not finished book yet. Painful read if you are depressed. It does not have its periods of bliss as in lets say the tragic Tess of the D'urbivilles. of course i did not finish that either, so i don't know but i am told it ends tragically for the good and thus too easily exploited Tess. At the risk of being politically incorrect, Sue is a flibbertigibbet and needs help but certainly not in todays way of mad doctoring with tortorous drugs that while internal and hidden are worse than the psychiatric treatments in the book of its era.
As always there is much useful criticism of society's petty and trivial and strictured norms that may not apply to Hardy's epoch's "problems of living" but are still more or less applicable to the oppressions and unnatural problems we as a society and individuals contend with in the 21st century.
Unlike Hardy's other novels, there are far too many fits and starts and contradictions in this one. but there are moments of humour too. the story of the workers who restored the ten commandments. they got drunk and left all the "nots" out of the thou shall not do this that and the other thing.
by the way Arabella, the professors at christminister, the narrow minded town folk, and that quack doctor are fu#king as#holes and damn societal norms and sumptuary laws...
Jude and his cousin/wife Sue are the most sympathetic characters and most humane in this novel.